Six weeks at half pay for a vaginal delivery, 8 weeks at half pay for a c/s. Followed by unpaid leave of up to 8 weeks (if a c/s) or 10 weeks (if vaginal). For a grand total of 16 weeks of leave.
So I actually get more money if I have a repeat c/s.
Though I suppose if that is what happens I can save that thought as the "silver lining".
Jilian- I know that you're taking magnesium for contractions...is that helping at all? My OB last time told me to add a magnesium supplement to help with the cramping (and that even though the bottle says take one, I could take as much as I liked over the course of the day since the body just gets rid of excess). The only thing was I had to back off if I "started to have loose stools". So maybe add more magnesium, even when you're not having contractions?
Also, after my c/s I tried a lot of things to get my guts working again. I used colace (at most grocery stores) which is what the hospital suggested (it's not a laxative, but it...ummmm...."makes things softer") and I used all the traditional gentle cures (fiber, water, prunes, yogurt, etc). But...
After 6 freakin' days with NOTHING moving I stepped up the effort with a less gentle but amazingly effective traditional cure. Basically you make some pudding (chocolate seemed appropriate to me) and add some mineral oil to the pudding (the bottle actually tells you how much...it wasn't a lot). And then you eat it. Mmmmm....yum.
Now, mineral oil is a lubricating laxative, shouldn't be used if you're also taking a softener (like the colace) and shouldn't be used more than once or twice since it can lead to vitamin deficiency (the bottle will say not to use during pregnancy, but if you only use it once or twice and are generally keeping on top of nutritional stuff it's probably fine...though you might double check with your care provider), it shouldn't be used by people with bleeding disorders (it can temporarily reduce available vitamin k so it can interfere with clotting) and mineral oil is (no surprise) not that great for you! So this isn't a wonderful cure-all or anything. Though the pudding was yummy and effective...I ate three bowls over a day and a half and the problem was resolved.
So anyway, it's a possible "solution" though I'd probably try those prunes first. But then, I actually like prunes and eat them anyway. Perhaps think of them as "dried plums"? Or go with Worf's "warrior drink" analogy?
Oh, and obviously avoid anything from the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) since that diet is designed to stop things up (though many people find that whole apples will help with through-put due to the fiber and water).
Good luck! I've been using my hypnobirthing relaxation techniques when using the bathroom...I figure if I'm going to be constipated I might as well use it for practice!